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This Week in Disrespect: Focusing on Hockey East again

December 3, 2009

We had planned for this post to go up yesterday but unforeseen circumstances once again stood in the way of progress, as WordPress has been delightfully glitchy this week and seems to have taken great glee in making posts that we had been working on for a not-unreasonable amount of time go haywire and then cease to be.

And when that’s not even the most disrespectful thing we encountered this week, then you know we’ve had a rough one.

See, we’ve got spies all over the league, and as such we received the word on the Hockey East Monthly Awards before they came out yesterday, and they were sent to us in an e-mail titled, “Disrespect?” Having then looked at the list, we don’t know why the question mark was even included. You see, for these awards, they apparently do not take the entire month into account. Or, more accurately, they do not take Lowell into account.

We have no beef whatsoever with Bobby Butler pulling down the award for Hockey East Player of the Month. How are we going to argue with 8-5-13 in seven games? And we cannot take issue with Stephane Da Costa winning Rookie of the Month for the second month in a row because, well, he’s the best freshman in Hockey East and there’s not even really a close second.

But Goalie of the Month? Hoo boy, that’s a tough draw.

They gave the award, shockingly, to a goaltender out of UMass Amherst — apparently by way of The Right Hand of the Lord, Heaven — that runs by the name of Paul Dainton*. Look at Dainton*’s numbers: Sure he was 3-2-0, but as the Hockey East writeup points out, one of those losses was in a game he didn’t start (this ignores that he definitely blew it by allowing a goal with 1:10 to go in a one-goal game and then another in OT). And his simple goaltending stats in those games were 2.55 goals-against, .922 save percentage. That 2.55 is a little ugly but you take .922 and run with it, right? Wins over Niagara, UNH before they were good again, and Vermont. Congrats, kid, you earned it. But mayyyyyyybe, by the most elastic definitions, Dainton* deserves consideration for the award. After all, look who he beat out for the award.

Vermont’s Mike Spillane? His 3-1-0 record looks pretty good, considering he gave up 11 goals in four Hockey East games, including a shutout of Providence up in Burlington. But the stats, not so much. A 2.54 goals-against is actually better than Dainton*’s but hey, we know he didn’t beat UNH this month, and that’s a big factor in awards voting around Hockey East. Wins are important in evaluating goaltender performance, right? (No.) But sure, maybe you say the .915 save percentage hurt him. Okay, we buy that.

Maine’s Scott Darling? He went 4-2-1, 2.67/.909. How does two-and-two-thirds goals plus a POINT NINE OH NINE save percentage warrant any kind of consideration besides Tim Whitehead considering benching his ass? He was, let’s face it, just okay against Lowell, and that game really boosted his stats to the lowest low-tide marks of respectability. But hey, Maine’s good(ish) again (maybe) so Hockey East has reason to stand up and cheer: one of their top merch movers might start moving merch again, and money’s good for everyone. Except the other teams six teams in Hockey East who aren’t in the Big Four.

Oh here’s a decent candidate: Lowell’s Carter Hutton. Goals-against average of… what’s that? It’s 2.02 you say? Huh that’s odd. It’s better than Dainton*’s numbers by like 27 percent (or something, math’s not our subject). How’s that happen? Oh, maybe his save percentage stinks despite the good GAA. Let’s have a look real quick and see if.. no, hmm. His save percentage was .937. That, too, is appreciably better than anyone else in the field’s. Oh this must be it: he was only 2-1-0. And the one loss was to Providence, a game in which he gave up three goals on 40 shots. However we’re sure the league would make the point, though, that even with the Hockey East Bonus Points (henceforth known as HEBP) awarded for beating UNH, three games does not a Bauer Goaltender of the Month make.

And that’s because, obviously, Hutton splits time more or less 50-50 with his partner in crime Nevin Hamilton. Doesn’t seem fair to penalize a player for having another good goaltender on the team. Indeed, Casey Wellman’s “Honorable Mention” for Player of the Month came almost entirely because James Marcou gives him six good scoring chances a game and he scores on up to 16 percent of them. But sure, because Hamilton and Hutton split time, neither warrants consideration especially, no matter how much better the stats are. It’s not like Hamilton’s goals-against was more than a tenth of a goal lower than Dainton*’s, or his save percentage a hundredth of a point higher than Darling’s. Oh, they were? Yeah, it says here that those numbers in November were 2.43/.919. Oops! Must’ve been because of the record then. Hmm, he went 2-1-1. Why that’s a better win percentage than Dainton*’s too.

How odd that none of this got mentioned.

We know by now that the league is loath to award any Lowell player any honor of any kind unless he more or less captures it at gunpoint. But for real, you quislings went so far out of your way to not-award Hutton and Hamilton co-Goaltenders of the Month for their combined stats of 2.28/.927 and a record of 4-2-1.

Because THAT makes sense.

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